Trevor Colin Mallard (born 17 June 1954) is a New Zealand politician and the current Member of Parliament for the Hutt South electorate. He was a Cabinet Minister in the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand holding portfolios including Environment, Labour, Broadcasting, State Owned Enterprises, Rugby World Cup and Education. He was also Associate Minister of Finance. In the current 50th Parliament, he is the Labour Party spokesperson for Internal Affairs and Sport and Recreation.
Mallard was born in Wellington, and attended Onslow College. After gaining a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration degree from Victoria University in 1974, he trained as a teacher at the Wellington College of Education, gaining a Diploma in Teaching in 1976. He subsequently held a number of teaching jobs in Wellington and the King Country. While teaching, Mallard became involved in the PPTA, the national secondary school teachers' union. He was secretary of the PPTA's King Country branch from 1979 to 1984. In 1984, he gained a Diploma in Continuing Education from Waikato University.
|Parliament of New Zealand|
Mallard joined the Labour Party in 1972, while still at university. He held a number of internal party positions until the election of 1984 when he was elected as the party's Member of Parliament (MP) for Hamilton West. Although he was re-elected in the 1987 elections, he lost his seat in the election of 1990. Returning to the Wellington area, he contested the seat of Pencarrow in the 1993 elections and was successful. He has retained that seat ever since, although it is now known as Hutt South.
When Labour won the 1999 elections, Mallard was appointed to Cabinet. He became Minister of Education, Minister of State Services, and Minister for Sport and Recreation. In connection with his Education role, he also became Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office, and in connection with his Sport role, he also became Minister for the America's Cup (New Zealand held the America's Cup at the time). In 2004, Mallard also became Co-ordinating Minister for Race Relations, and Minister of Energy. In an October 2007 cabinet reshuffle, he was reassigned to be the Minister for the Environment, the Minister of Labour, the Minister of Broadcasting, the Minister for State Owned Enterprises and the Associate Minister of Finance.
Although Labour was defeated in the 2008 general election, Mallard has retained his seat. In Opposition, he has served as Shadow Leader of the House and Opposition spokesperson on Education, Labour, and Sport and Recreation.
He announced in July 2016 that he will not contest Hutt South, but will run as a list-only candidate with the intention of becoming Speaker of the House.
Mallard has been involved in a number of controversial disputes during his ministerial career. In particular, his handling of the education portfolio was strongly criticised by teachers' unions, including the PPTA. In his first term as minister, he was strongly criticised by teachers during a long-running strike action over salaries, and in his second term, he had been criticised for a program of school closures in rural districts. To some people, Mallard was a strong, decisive administrator who "takes no nonsense", while others see him as tactless and overly confrontational.
In April 2002, Trevor Mallard made crude comments about inserting beer bottles into "uncomfortable places" of International Rugby Board chairman Vernon Pugh and Australian Rugby boss John O'Neill during a radio interview about following the withdrawal of co-hosting rights for the 2003 Rugby World Cup. He later apologised saying he mixed up his passion for rugby with his role as Minister of Sport.
In September 2006, Mallard was implicated in the resignation of National Party leader Don Brash after interjecting with an allegation in the House that Brash had engaged in an extramarital affair.
In October 2007, Mallard punched National Party MP Tau Henare in a scuffle that took place outside the debating chambers. It is speculated that this was a result of comments Henare made regarding a new relationship Mallard had formed. Mallard quickly apologised for his part in the altercation. He also publicly revealed that the woman with whom he had entered a new relationship was former world champion rower Brenda Lawson. Police declined to investigate but Graham McCready launched a private prosecution. Mallard pleaded guilty to fighting in a public place and agreed to pay $500 to the Salvation Army's Bridge drug and alcohol programme.
In May 2008, Mallard was warned by New Zealand's Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden that signage on his electorate vehicle breached provisions of the controversial Electoral Finance Act and ordered him to update the signage to include an authorisation from party officials. However, the Chief Electoral Officer did not refer the matter to the New Zealand Police to prosecute as the matter was considered inconsequential.
In February 2012, Mallard was accused of ticket scalping on Trade Me when he sold four tickets to the Homegrown music festival for a $246 profit. The MP had in 2006 initiated legislation, the Major Events Management Act 2007, prohibiting ticket scalping for major events (although Homegrown wasn't classified as a "major event" so wasn't covered). He later offered to refund the money he received for the tickets.
He announced his separation from wife Stephanie, after 33 years of marriage, in June 2007. He has three children, one of whom is a Black Fern. On 29 December 2014, Mallard married journalist Jane Clifton. He is interested in outdoor recreation, including rugby and mountain biking.